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Local History Articles by Robert Ragan


February 16, 2000 - "On Gaston's river banks, an industrial era is born" - The beginnings of industry in Gaston County from 1848 through the Civil War. Includes the founding of Mountain Island, Woodlawn Factury (Pinhook Mill), and Stowe's Factory.

February 18, 2000 - "From water power to steam power: Gaston's mills continued to evolve" - The textile industry in Gaston County from 1874 - 1883. Move from water powered mills to steam and electric mills. Includes founding of Mount Holly Cotton Mill, Wilson & Moore Cotton Mill (Wilson's Mill, later Spencer Mountain Mills), McAden Mills, and Tuckaseege Manufacturing Co.

February 20, 2000 - "First came the railroads, then came the mills" - The first railroads in Gaston County and the beginnings of Gastonia.

February 23, 2000 - "A vision of the future: the city of Gastonia is born" - Early history of Gastonia including early prominent citizens.

February 25, 2000 - "'The Gastonia Nine' push start of steam-driven mill" - Foundation of the Gastonia Cotton Manufacturing Company (the Old Mill).

February 27, 2000 - "The partnership of the pioneer mills" - Growth of Gastonia mills. Foundation of the Trenton Cotton Mills, Modena Cotton Mills, Avon Mills, and Ozark Mills.


March 3, 2000 - "1900s bring era of 'combed yarn'" - Arlington Cotton Mills becomes the first mill in the South to produce combed cotton yarn. Includes the founding of Loray Mills and Gray Manufacturing Company.

March 5, 2000 - "Gaston County's textile industry grows and matures" - Gaston County textiles from 1900 - 1950. Growth of "chain mills" and independents.


April 16, 2000 - "Loray Strike tragedy part of Gaston History" - Part one of a two part column on the Loray Strike. Growth of discontent at the Loray Mill.

April 19, 2000 - "Loray Strike's violence scars N.C.'s textile city" - Conclusion of the two part column on the Loray Strike. The strike and its aftermath.


May 21, 2000 - "Glory days of The Grand Cotton Festival" - The Grand Cotton Festival was held in Gastonia from 1938 - 1941 and 1946. Includes names of Kings and Queens of Cotton for each year.

May 28, 2000 - "Remembering 'the greatest flood since Noah'" - First of a two column series on the Great Flood of 1916.

May 31, 2000 - "Granddad's story of 1916 flood" - Stories and remembrances of the Great Flood of 1916. Includes Story of James "Buck" Duke's visit to Gastonia to survey the flood damage and the lyrics to a ballard about the 1916 Flood.


June 18, 2000 - "1934 textile strike brought violence and unrest" - First of two columns on National Textile Strike of 1934.

June 25, 2000 - "1934 strike paralyzed Gaston County mills" - Second column on National Textile Strike of 1934.


July 2, 2000 - "How Gastonia's streets got their names" - Discusses the layout of early Gastonia.

July 23, 2000 - "Booger Mountain: Whiskey, Spirits and a long-lost name" - Origin of the name Booger Mountain. Also includes story of local "distiller" Thomas Grier Falls.


August 6, 2000 - "Gaston medical community sprang from South Point" - First of a series of articles on the history of health care in Gaston County. Discusses early physicians in Gaston County from 1785 - 1887. Special attention is given to Dr. William McLean, Dr. Ephriam Holland, Dr. Robert Harris Adams, and Dr. Charles Edward Adams.

August 9, 2000 - "Growth brings expansion of Gaston medical roster" - Discussions of Gaston County physicians from 1890 forward. Special attention is given to Dr. James Marshall Sloan, Dr. Lucius "Lush" Newton Glenn, and Dr. Dorothy Norman Glenn.

August 13, 2000 - "How Gaston County opened wide for dentists" - Dentistry in Gaston County. Special attention is given to Dr. William Henry Hoffman, Dr. Enos Franklin Glenn, Dr. Daniel Edward McConnell, Dr. Pleasant Ralph Falls, and Dr. Alfred Cornelius Current.

August 16, 2000 - "Hospitals grew with Gaston's need" - Hospitals in Gaston County. Formation of City Hospital (later Gaston Memorial Hospital) and Gaston County Sanitorium (later Garrison General Hospital).

August 20, 2000 - "Sanitorium served Gaston County for many years" - Hospitals in Gaston County. History of Gaston County Sanitorium (Garrison General Hospital) and the North Carolina Orthopedic Hospital.

August 23, 2000 - "Drugstores served up sweets, socializing" - Early drugstores and pharmacies in Gaston County.


September 3, 2000 - "Legal profession took root in Dallas, the old county seat" - History of the legal profession in Gaston County through 1911. Special attention is given to Judge William H. Lewis, Addison G. Mangim, and Captain George W. Bason.

September 10, 2000 - "New county seat ushered in new legal era" - History of the legal profession in Gaston County fron 1911 forward. Special attention is given to Emery Byrd Denny, Major Robert Gregg Cherry, Harley B. Gaston, and Ernest Robert Warren. Also recounts the formation of the Gaston County Bar Association.

September 17, 2000 - "Gastonia's mayors have presided over much change, growth" - Column includes a complete list of the Mayors of Gastonia and the members of the first city council. Also includes information on the mayors that have served the longest terms; two sets of father and son mayors; and the first African American and female mayors.


October 29, 2000 - "Gaston's settlers came seeking land, better life" - History of the early settlement of Gaston County before the Revolutionary War. Mentions family names that appear in early land records and establishment of the first churches in Gaston County.


November 5, 2000 - "More setlers arrive, along with a revolution" - The American Revolutionary War in Gaston County. Column includes discussion of revolutionary soldiers from Gaston County and of the Battle of Kings Mountain.

November 12, 2000 - "The 'secession' of Kings Mountain from Gaston County - In 1915, the North Carolina Legislature voted to change the boundary line between Gaston and Cleveland Counties, placing Kings Mountain in Cleveland County and causing many years of tense relations between the two counties.

November 26, 2000 - "Gastonia's inhabitants resolved to create own home" - Settlement in Gaston County following the Revolutionary War. The creation of Gaston County.

November 29, 2000 - "Dallas was new county's center of activity" - History of Dallas and the first Gaston County Courthouse.


December 24, 2000 - "Early entrepreneurs took opportunities to the bank" - History of banking in Gaston County. The column concentrates on the First National Bank of Gastonia and The Gastonia Banking Company.

December 27, 2000 - "Like Gaston County, banking grew with cotton mills" - History of banking in Gaston County. This column focuses on the period from 1905 forward. Special emphasis is given to Citizens National Bank of Gastonia, Bank of Gastonia, Bank of Belmont, and First Federal Savings and Loan.

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